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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I haven't bought a decent TV set in 12 yrs - waiting for HDTV. I haven't bought a DVD because I didn't want to watch it on my crappy TV. No OTA/Cable HDTV signal available in my area. Most folks buy them for DVD watching, which is what I think I'll do.


Here's what I think I am looking for:

I'll be watching 25% DVDs, and 75% TIVO (Thanks, AVSForum!).

I'm going to be buying surround sound, prog scan DVD player at the same time, so $$$ is an issue. I'd like to keep the total below $4000, preferably $3000.

It's going in our great room, which has big windows. So front projection isn't feasible.

40-55, 16:9 widescreen.

Upgradeable to HDTV with external receiver.

I prefer direct view to RP, but I see that sizes don't go above 38", and it's about a grand more than an equivalent RP unit.

I don't want the picture to look "stretched" when watching regular TV.


I see that Circuit City has a $1999 Panasonic 47" RP widescreen model on sale. I went to see it, and it looked GREAT with HDTV signal and also DVD. Probably because all the other RP models were badly out of alignment. Of course, nobody came by to ask if I had any questions, so I just watched 1/2 hr of Batman with the kids.


Sorry for rambling... But I have a few actual questions now.

1) Do RP units still suffer from "burn-in" if you have bars showing on the sides? I see that some units in stores now show "grey bars" instead of black. Does that help?

2) Is the Panasonic unit any good? Customer reviews at CircuitCity say "yes, nice entry level HDTV unit" and such.

3) Am I crazy to get it there? If they can't keep their own sets working, do I dare get mine serviced there?

4) how much maintenance is involved in one of these things? (alignment, etc..)?

5) Am I missing something?

Thanks for any help for a newbie. If there is some FAQ that explains things like the black bars, etc., point me to it.

Thanks,

Chris




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1) Do RP units still suffer from "burn-in" if you have bars showing on the sides? I see that some units in stores now show "grey bars" instead of black. Does that help?


Grey Bars do lessen burn-in but don't prevent it. You have to vary your viewing habits. Once you watch a few programs in stretched mode you get used to it. Some programs are more tolerable than others.

2) Is the Panasonic unit any good? Customer reviews at CircuitCity say "yes, nice entry level HDTV unit" and such.


I've owned that Panasonic for almost a month and have been very pleased with it. Out of the box it didn't look as bad as I thought it might even with cable and satellite. HD material and Progressive Scan DVD looks awesome.

3) Am I crazy to get it there? If they can't keep their own sets working, do I dare get mine serviced there?


I purchased mine at Sears with a pricematch for $1699 plus tax and $40 delivery. I don't think you want them to "service" your unit unless you need warranty work. I haven't had a problem with my TV and will be getting it ISF'd next week (Hopefully).

4) how much maintenance is involved in one of these things? (alignment, etc..)?


This is my first RPTV so I don't know what maintenance is involved. When I first took delivery of the unit I turned down most of the picture settings, performed 9pt Convergence, then went back and shaped it up with Video Essentials & also turned off "Red Push". I'm going to pay someone to "finish it off" instead of getting into the service menu myself.

5) Am I missing something?


If I were you and wanted to stay in that price range I would consider the 47" Panny or the 50" Toshiba, both 16:9 and HDTV ready. To learn more about those sets visit:

www.hometheaterforum.com
www.***************.com


I wanted to stay in your price range and my setup is:


Panny 47" - Sears $1,699 + tax + $40 shipping

Toshiba DST 3000 - $400 shipped used from someone at HTF

Toshiba 6200 DVD Player - $229 shipped used from ebay


Too bad you can't get any OTA HD material. How far do you live from the nearest transmission? Good Luck!


 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks bmello! Lots of good info there.


>>ISF'd

What's that?


Sounds like a nice system you've put together there.


>>Too bad you can't get any OTA HD material. How far do you >>live from the nearest transmission? Good Luck!


Like 400 miles. I'm in Rochester, NY, which isn't one of the "big 30" markets. Oh well. We've got Time Warner cable, which means they could send us HBO Digital if they wanted, etc..


Until then, it's Tivo and DVDs.


Thanks again for the info.

--

Chris





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ISF'd

What's that?



Check out this link:
http://sitelevel.whatuseek.com/query...=ISF&B1=Search


Its basically having someone with ISF certification come out and calibrate your TV. If you decide to do this you might want to get a recommendation from someone in your area. This forum is a good place to start. You usually have to wait until you have 100hrs on your TV. I'm suppose to have mine done next Thursday by a well respected Calibrator while he is in Atlanta. So well see if its worth it. Good Luck!


[This message has been edited by bmello (edited 08-22-2001).]
 

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From what you've written about viewing plans to include much 4:3, and not really wanting RP, I'd recommend you seriously look at the Sony direct-views. If you look you might still find a 36XBR400 at close-out; I saw one recently in the local area below 1900. The new 36 that isn't the XBR would be my second choice (you don't need 3:2 pulldown that the new XBR450 has since you're getting a pro-scan DVD), which should be available around 2100 or so.

I just think it sounds like you're in the market for more of a "transitional" 4:3 HD-compatible set, than a full-blown widescreen RP model. Get what you really want; direct views have some real advantages over RPs.

JMHO

John


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Quote:
Originally posted by gnosys:
The new 36 that isn't the XBR would be my second choice (you don't need 3:2 pulldown that the new XBR450 has since you're getting a pro-scan DVD), which should be available around 2100 or so.
He is talking about the Sony 36HS20. It is sold at Best Buy & Sears for $2,199. I strongly considered getting this Direct View set instead of the Panny. I ultimately went with the Panny because I watch alot of DVDs and I can receive HD material here in Atlanta. Also, even with a pricematch at Sears for around $1,900, the Sony was going to cost me about $500 more than the Panny once you buy the stand. But he is correct, if you are going to primarily watch 4:3 material and don't think 36" is too small the Sony will probabably give you a better picture. The Sony also gives you the 16:9 enhanced mode for anamorphic DVDs and you will be able to use the set for Digital/HD TV when it comes to your area. Good Luck with your decision! http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif

 

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Quote:
Originally posted by bmello:


I've owned that Panasonic for almost a month and have been very pleased with it. Out of the box it didn't look as bad as I thought it might even with cable and satellite. HD material and Progressive Scan DVD looks awesome.


[/b]
Not trying to start an argument here but did you compare the Panasonic against the Tosh or Mits?


I ask because I went to a local,non chain store dealer (the kind of place who knows what they are talking about) who has all three brands and I fully expected to buy the 47" Panasonic when I went there.


However, when I saw them all side by side playing DISH's HD demo channel, the Panasonic was awful. The dealer let me use AVIA to calibrate it but no matter how hard I tried, the picture quality was pathetic.


He finally said to me "We can not figure out why the Panasonic is so bad. It has the worst picture of all our HD tv's in our store. We switched in another one thinking that there was something wrong with the TV but same thing. Many customers have come in here looking at the Panasonic because of it's price and 47" seems like the size most prefer. We have sold none of them"


I really wanted the Panasonic. The 50" Tosh looked stunning but it is too big for my viewing area and so I am debating over the 46" Mits or just waiting.

 

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We just got the 46" mitsubishi a few weeks ago, and have been pretty happy with it. We don't have an hdtv tuner, satellite, or progressive dvd player, so I really don't have a thorough evaluation, but interlaced dvds and regular cable look great.
 

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If more than 40% of this guy's viewing will be 4:3 material, then he should check out the new Sony 43" HDTV ready RP, which does the 16x9 squeeze. It's $2100 at most places and is an outstanding set with very easy to use controls and user settings.


For the record, I own the 47" Panasonic and would ONLY recommend it to tweakers and people with the patience to make it look right AND to people who watch mostly DVD and HDTV.



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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by Matt_Stevens:
If more than 40% of this guy's viewing will be 4:3 material...<snip>
The thing is, it would only be that way for a year or two. As soon as HDTV is available, I'll be watching some of that. When HDTivo is available, I'll be watching nothing but that. Probably 5 yrs from now, I'll be all widescreen, all the time. My last good set lasted 10+yrs. I expect my next one to, as well. So for 60% of the lifetime of the set, I'd be kicking myself for not getting 16:9.

4 years from now, I want to look at this TV (that I'm buying now) and say "now, this is finally cool!". Not "now, this is pretty lame".


I think I have a solution for the black bars problem. The Toshiba 57H81 has something called "Orbital Movement Technology". http://ww2.onecall.com/PID_12485.htm

This stops CRT burn-in by slowly moving the picture around on the screen, to keep the bars from being in the same place/size. Sounds reasonable. It would be a good compromise solution, I think.


Anyway, thanks all of your for your excellent input.



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Quote:
Originally posted by Joe Q:
Not trying to start an argument here but did you compare the Panasonic against the Tosh or Mits?
I did not like the physical appearance of the 46" Mits. I would have considered the 50" Tosh but it wasn't out when I made my purchase. I honestly like the picture on my Panny and the price and size were right. When I was shopping around, the set looked different at every store. In fact, I had to drive out of my way to show my wife the set at a different Circuit City because the one near me had a bad picture. You are talking about one store's opinion. I don't regret my decision at this point in time. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif

 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by bmello:
When I was shopping around, the set looked different at every store.
No doubt. In my case, the panny looked better than any of the other RP units at the local Circuit City, including many that were 2x the price. I was quite happy with the picture.


I think the other units were suffering from being display models for too long, and having people play with them and not know what they were doing. Kind of like a Steinway Piano in a monkey cage.




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Don't view too much in the 4:3 mode as it will burn your screen. Since I got it I have kept in on full, not fill mode!


It's in black and white in my Users manual you can burn an image faster using that 4:3 than any other format and your complaining about not spending too much money.


I have the RCA F38310 direct view

with a built in line doubler and built in Direct TV receiver with card slot and phone plug for $2999

My set doesn't need a set top box it's already digital. You think twice about downing this HDTV as my DVD interlaced signal is almost

a digital postcard when viewed through the Component video Input with our sponsers silver serpent cables at www.bettercables.com .


I bought a Inline $575 4 to 1 switcher, now I have both of my 300 and 200 DVD changers going into the one Y-Pr-Pb input on back of HDTV. I have a inscreen view of 19 inches high by 34 inches wide viewed from 5 feet away. It fits good in my apartment it's paid off along with the switcher and all silver serpent cables connecting it. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif



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You can also buy the Sony 53HS10 for around $2000. I got mine from J&R for 1998. The newer model 53H30 will be a couple of hundred more.



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Sure the manuals say that watching 4:3 can cause burnin, especially since most RPTV's come from the factory in torch mode with brightness/contrast cranked all the way up. That's just them covering their butts.


Everything I've heard from this forum says that if you crank the settings down to normal levels (or use VE or Avia), you shouldn't have any problem even in 4:3.


Someone with real experience, please contradict me! http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/wink.gif

--Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by mikepinkerton:
Sure the manuals say that watching 4:3 can cause burnin...

--Mike
Does anyone have experience with, or comments on the Toshiba "orbital motion" feature, which is supposed to avoid this by slowly moving the picture around?

--

Chris




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